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ACC Check In

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Taking stock of Georgia Tech's Conference Opponents

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Each week I plan on taking a look at all the teams in the ACC and how they are performing this season. Hopefully this will give us an idea of how we stack up against our conference mates. The measure I will be using is Points Per Drive, how often a team scores on each drive. Here is a quick graph* showing each ACC member's Points Per Drive Scored and Points Per Drive Allowed. (Hover over the dots to view the exact coordinates and what team the point represents.)

(*) Its an embedded graph so if it doesn't load for you then let me know in the comments, hopefully we can sort it out. If you can't view it here is a static image link.

Obviously each team has only played in two games so this will take some time to sort out. Also in the future I will restrict the games to only FBS opponents.

But this is a Georgia Tech sports blog, we can do better than that. It isn't quite fair to judge an offense or defense based on how often they score points when they have the ball because not all drives are created equal. Teams are likely to score more points the closer they start to the endzone (I know, this is mind-blowing analysis). What I did was calculate an expected points for each spot on the field based on past drive data. Then we can calculate the average number of points a team scores over their expected amount. A better offense will out preform their expected points per drive, while a better defense will allow less points than you would expect based on the starting field position of their opponents: (Static Image link)

It seems that the best offense, so far, at out-performing their expected points was Louisville, and after their thrashing of Miami that kind of makes sense. However, none of these factors take in opponent quality. With only 2 games in the books opponent adjustments would be too wacky, so we will have to wait to get some more data points before we can adjust for opponent.

While the last chart did a great job isolating the value of an offense or defense based on their production over an average offense it doesn't take everything into account. Having a high expected points per drive is a skill in itself; we should still give credit for generating good scoring opportunities. So here is a chart showing the average expected value for a team's drives on offense and for their opponent's drives. (Static Image Link)

We will be able to make better conclusions from this as the season progresses, but I wanted to go ahead and get this going so we can view how our opponents are doing.